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Dr. Bridgete Clark  and the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Faculty immediately prior to commencement ceremonies for the DH Class of 2014

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at Cabrillo primarily as a clinical instructor, as well as serving on Cabrillo’s Curriculum Committee since 1995.  Bridgete Clark, who has served as Program Director for Cabrillo’s School of Dental Hygiene since 1999, has degrees both in dental hygiene and dentistry.  Dr. Clark in fact worked for me years ago as a hygienist—and also was one of my students when I taught at the University of the Pacific (Arthur A. Dugoni) School of Dentistry—and now enjoys being my BOSS!  She manages the very challenging role of Program Director with grace and skill:  Cabrillo’s graduates have a superb reputation in our community.  The faculty who I teach with are without exception excellent clinicians, professionals and are passionate about teaching.  I have learned so much from them (as well as my students) over the years—this part of my life—giving back and receiving in return—is among the most important and valuable things I have done.  I am so honored to be part of this great school!  JoAnne Noto, who is center front in the photo of the faculty, has always given generously of her time, knowledge and energy to the program and her fellow faculty—she recently spearheaded Cabrillo’s receiving full accreditation on the part of the American Dental Association and American Association of Dental Hygiene.

 


 

Professor William Lundergan with me at a recent Monterey Bay Dental Society meeting 

I had the pleasure of teaching with Bill Lundergan at the University of the Pacific (Arthur A. Dugoni) School of Dentistry from 1986 until 1995. Back then he was an associate clinical professor. Bill now is the Chairman of the Department of Periodontics. Bill is remarkably down to earth, loves teaching and is passionate about dentistry. He continues to be a mentor to me as well as a valued friend.

 


Dr. Arthur Dugoni at this home in Palo Alto 2013                                                                                                                                              Art Dugoni, D.D.S., M.S.D is Dean Emeritus of the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco.  Art served as Dean at Pacific for 28 years.  Prior to that, Art had a long career indentistry and in dental education—including oral surgery while serving in the military, pediatric dentistry, and orthodontics.  He has served as president of a multitude of dental organizations including the American Dental Educator’s Association (now American Association of Dental Schools), California Dental Association, American Dental Association, and several international dental and dental educators’ associations.  He is known especially for developing and implementing the humanistic model of education, which has distinguished Pacific and it’s alumni among all dental schools in the U.S., and is notable for consistently establishing fine moral and professional character in its graduates.  I first met him when I served on the periodontal faculty at Pacific from 1986 until 1995, and Art has continued to be a very positive influence in my life since then.  Art very graciously met with me for lengthy interviews in 2013 so that I could write articles about him and his philosophies for our local Monterey Bay Dental Society newsletter, The SmileLine.  Art has become a fine mentor and friend.  A few of his favorite sayings:  “Focus on the positive!”    “At Pacific, we build people.  Along the way they become dentists.”  And, in referring to our life and the time we have on this earth:  “You own it.”

 Dr. Wayne Remington with me at the 2013 AMED (Academy of Microscope Enhanced Dentistry) Annual meeting                                Wayne is President of AMED this year. He teaches microscope dentistry in his practice and has been a good friend since 1996. He and I often exchange ideas as well as humor. He is a brilliant dentist and terrific person.

Dr. W. Peter Nordland at the 2012 meeting of the International Society of Periodontal Plastic Surgeons, Los Angeles
Peter and I have been friends since we were in our residencies in the early 1980's.  His practice, located in La Jolla, California, is devoted exclusively to esthetic periodontal and implant surgical procedures.  He has served as a mentor to me through the years and has shared a multitude of his concepts and techniques, which I use daily.  Peter and I serve as course directors at the Newport Coast Oral Facial Institute, instructing dentists from around the world in use of the operating microscope.



Dr. Preston D. Miller and Dr. Randall Harris at the 2012 ISPPS meeting, Los Angeles
P.D. Miller (yellow tie) now retired from periodontal practice but still actively involved in education and writing articles, is considered the "Father of Periodontal Plastic Surgery".  I have enjoyed getting to know him personally and professionally since I was in my residency.  Over the course of his lengthy practice career, P.D. developed many pioneering techniques for covering exposed roots, improving comfort and appearance of the intraoral tissues, and has served as a role model for periodontists around the world--in how to truly serve one's patients and colleagues.  P.D. is past president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), and received the AAP's Gold Medal Award in 2012, its highest accolade--celebrating a lifetime of contribution to periodontics and the advancement of research in esthetic periodontal procedures.
Randy Harris, also retired, has personified for me (since I first attended a lecture he gave in 1991) a number of qualities I deeply admire and aspire to:  professionalism, consistent devotion to precise, refined surgical technique, contribution to the community and colleagues, and a gentle, kind and earnest approach in all he does.  Randy has also authored a number of articles and developed techniques for regenerative and esthetic periodontal procedures.  His daughter is now a periodontist and following in his footsteps.  Randy received the International Society of Periodontal Plastic Surgeon's "Gold Medal" award, (like the AAP, the ISPPS's highest award) in 2012.


West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration Medical Center Dental Residents - 1984
I'm sitting in the front row second from your right, next to Terry Eggleston.  Jim Emerson, recently retired from practice, is in the center, rear row.  Jim practiced prosthodontics here in Monterey and was a wonderful mentor and friend to me for over 20 years.

Periodontal Residents - West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration Medical Center, 1984
E.C. Smith ("Smitty"), Ron Lascoe, Mike Toffler and myself
Smitty, Ron and Mike have been my friends, mentors, supporters and cherished colleagues since we met--first in 1983.   Smitty is now retired, having served in the Navy and then in private practice in San Diego for many years.  Ron practices in Burbank, with Mark Waki--another VAMC West LA grad.  Mike practices in Central Park South, Manhattan, and regularly lectures for the American Academy of Periodontology. Mike has authored articles and lectured extensively in regard to implant placement and sinus graft / lift procedures.  Smitty, Ron and I are very proud of Mike!


Dr. Thomas Sims - VAMC West Los Angeles Alumni Dinner 2012
Tom Sims served as the program director for my periodontal residency.  He also has run the literature review for periodontal residents at the VA and in the UCLA Periodontal Residency since 1979, I believe.  Tom devotes his time to practice in Santa Monica, with his partner Lionell Greenberg (also an instructor in my residency, and still teaching there), teaching at the VA and UCLA, activities with the AAP, Western Society of Periodontology and California Society of Periodontists. He has always been there for me, whether it be for technical advise about microbiology, staff issues, and as a father and friend.


West Los Angeles VAMC Periodontal Alumni Reunion Dinner 2012
Photos with my co-residents Mike and Ron, the director of my residency Tom Sims, with Joan Otomo and Sanford "Sandy" King,  long-time instructors in our residency.  Joan has long served in a number of periodontal organizations, and will serve as President of the American Academy of Periodontology beginning in 2014.


Drs. Debra Finney and Richard Kao at the American Academy of Periodontology meeting - 2012
Dr. Finney is a periodontist practicing in Folsom, California.  She happens to be the very first woman to have served as the President of the California Dental Association.  Debra is devoted to her patients, to teaching--she serves as a clinical instructor and lecturer at the Arthur A. Dugoni (UOP) School of Dentistry in San Francisco, and lectures for the California Society of Periodontists and other periodontal organizations.  She has inspired me over and over as an individual who sets tremendously high goals--and then achieves each of them with grace and humility. 
Rich Kao and I have enjoyed a friendship lasting now nearly 20 years.  Rich has pioneered research in growth factors and a number of exciting periodontal regenerative procedures--along with full time practice in Cupertino, and a busy teaching committment at my alma mater, UCSF School of Dentistry.  He lectures, writes articles, and somehow always finds time to share stories and his passion for the art and science of periodontics.


Dr. Thomas Kepic - AAP Los Angeles, 2012
Tom practices periodontics full time in Upland, California.  He and I have been friends since 1987, when I first practiced in Sonoma County.  Tom is a director of the Board of the American Academy of Periodontology, and served as President of the California Society of Periodontists in 2011-2012.  He has always inspired me, in many ways--a tremendous patient advocate, superb clinician, athlete, and a professional devoted to actively making a positive difference in this world.


Mavis Musitelli, RDH at the Fall 2012 Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Curriculum Committee Meeting, Aptos, California
Mavis has been practicing dental hygiene for almost 40 years in the Santa Cruz area. She taught hygiene for many years at Cabrillo College, and the days she was teaching in the clinic with me were some of the most enjoyable and rich of all of the years I have taught.  Mavis served as a role model for all of us--students, faculty and staff--as a professional, friend, superb clinician, an individual passionate about doing whatever she set her mind on as well as it could be done.  Each day she taught, she would bring all of us a handout--"Musitelli's Musings"--thoughts and wisdoms that applied to life and the challenges we each face.  All with humor, sincerity and a very personal style that only Mavis could master.